4 Point Friday: Problem Solving

January 17, 2020

learn problem solving skillsTo truly sustain transformational change requires continuous problem solving by everyone. Success (and competitive advantage) hinges on how well a company can teach and apply a robust, shared problem-solving method at all levels and engrain this thinking into the culture to create a community of thinkers who believe in the purpose and importance of solving problems.

1. Interesting article to read… On the thinking behind problem solving

If you look at successful organizations that apply lean thinking and drive change, they have typically become quite good at problem solving on a wide scale. This is just as much of a cultural shift as it is a process one and as the article points out, the shift involves a change from reactive problem solving to proactive. It takes an incredible commitment organizationally to make this shift, but the difference between good and great companies can often be traced to their ability to solve problems thoroughly and with agility. 


 2. Interesting quote to ponder…

"Problems are only opportunities in work clothes." —Henri Kaiser


3. Process and Tool Pointer – Root Cause Analysis, 5 Whys, and Countermeasures

Root cause analysis (RCA) is the use of a range of approaches, tools, and/or techniques to find the underlying “root” cause of an issue or problem. The 5 whys is a simple but powerful tool for finding root cause through asking “why” around the issue until an actionable root cause is found (i.e. a countermeasure can be applied). Countermeasures are actions applied to reduce or eliminate root causes and solve problems. Countermeasures can be soft (training, documentation) or hard (error proofing) in nature. Learn and reflect more about Problem Solving and 5 Why Analysis in this classic about Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon


4. The Other… How good are you at solving problems? Take this quiz and find out…

There are various problem solving methods and tools available. Probably most important is your view of problems to begin and how you approach solving them, and then leveraging the tools available to help find root cause and then apply countermeasures. This test provides a good analysis of how you tend to view problems and approach them. 

get better at problem solving 

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